Thursday, June 15, 2006

Accidents Happen

This is a thought-provoking quote from an article by Joni Eareckson Tada in this month's TableTalk:
I want you to know that I'm Reformed to the roots -- Reformed Episcopalian
growing up, and a PCA church member now. The fact that my crazy life is
nestled safely under God's overarching decrees is, to me, the best of
comforts. But God has showed me that when accidents happen, it's okay to
call them accidents. Even the Bible does. When babies die, when
whole populations starve, when young girls break their necks, God weeps for His
world, "for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men" (Lam.
3:33). My spinal cord injury was a terrible accident.


Anonymous said...

Great quote! I am sick of hearing when someone dies or has a spinal cord injury "it was Gods will"

Lets call it what it really is! We should not label it and blame God!


Molly said...

I agree that it often sounds trite and is no comfort when someone in tragedy hears, "Buck up, this is God's will" or "Romans828allthingsworktogetherforyourgood!"

But, at the same time, we can't lose sight of the beginning of this quote, which is inextricably linked to the end: God's overarching decrees should be the greatest of all comforts to us (cf. the beautiful phrasing of Heidelberg Catechism 1).

When we talk about God's sovereignty and "the problem of evil," we're on a razor's edge that's incomprehensible. I'm learning to strive for wisdom and compassion, especially when we're talking about suffering. Romans 8:28 probably shouldn't be the first thing out your mouth when tragedy strikes, but that doesn't mean that it's not a beautiful truth.

Joni Eareckson Tada's book "When God Weeps" does a fine job of walking that line. In addition, here's an article that's really impacted my thinking on the topic (sorry, I'm not sophisticated enough to embed a link in my comment):